Working Paper

The Role of Transnational Networks and Legal Status in Securing a Living: Ghanaian Migrants in The Netherlands

Published 1 January 2007 / By Valentina Mazzucato

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Transnational studies have shown that migrants are doubly engaged in both the receiving country and their country of origin. This paper adopts such a perspective in exploring how securing a living for Ghanaian migrants is affected by conditions in The Netherlands, as well as in Ghana . Securing a living, or livelihood security, we define as: employment security, housing security and ability to solve a crisis. The paper investigates how various personal and network characteristics of migrants relate to these three aspects of life in the receiving country. The paper analyzes transaction, network and life history data collected from both migrants and the people they are tied to back home. The paper shows that two characteristics are most related to securing a living: 1) the migrant's legal standing in Dutch society; 2) the migrant's positioning within a transnational network of actors. Both these conditions affect migrant objectives and actions on the one hand and the means at a migrant's disposal to realize these objectives (and therefore outcomes) on the other.


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